Pune: In a recent advisory issued by the ministry of health and family welfare, the states/union territories are advised to discourage online sale, manufacture, distribute, trade, import and advertise e-cigarettes or any such
devices that enable nicotine delivery.
This decision was taken in the larger public health interest and to prevent the initiation of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by non-smokers and youths.
Along with e-cigarettes, ENDS includes heat-not-burn devices, vape, e-sheesha and e-nicotine flavoured hookah. electronic cigarettes, the most common prototype are devices that do not burn or use tobacco leaves but instead vapourise a solution, which the user then inhales. ENDS solutions and emissions contain other chemicals, some of them considered to be toxicants.
The advisory states that evidence is sufficient to warn children and adolescents, pregnant women and women of reproductive age against ENDS use and nicotine. ENDS aerosol contains nicotine, the addictive component of tobacco products. In addition to this, nicotine can have adverse effects on the development of the foetus during pregnancy. It may contribute to cardiovascular disease to the people who use ENDS.
Early nicotine exposure, that is during childhood or adolescent age, may have long-term consequences for brain development. This may potentially lead to learning and anxiety disorders.
A number of metals, including lead, chromium, and nickel and chemicals like formaldehyde, have been found in aerosols of some ENDS, with concentrations equal to or greater than traditional cigarettes, under normal experimental conditions of use.
The advisory also states that there are possibilities that children, adolescents and youths and generally non-smokers will initiate nicotine use through ENDS and the switch to cigarette smoking.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2017, the governments of 30 countries, including Mauritius, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates etc, have already banned ENDS in their countries.
Decision will help: Expert
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Nitin Abhyankar, pulmonologist from Poona Hospital, said, “As the fad of e-cigarettes is not popular in India right now, hence, the early decision will help.”
“ The chemical released from the e-devices are carcinogenic and hence are very harmful for health. Their use should be discouraged,” he further added.